Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Hard Work Takes Care of Itself
"To find a career to which you are
adapted by nature,
and then to work hard at it,
is about as near to a formula
for success and happiness
as the world provides.
One of the fortunate aspects
of this formula is that,
granted the right career has been found,
the hard work takes care of itself.
Then hard work is not hard work at all."
(Thoughts on Success, Thoughts And Reflections From History's Great Thinkers)
I'm a writer. That's the career path I've chosen. Or was it the path that chose me? This is what I'm pondering today. How much of who we are as a person is wrapped up in our career choices?
In the process of cleaning out my study and reorganizing my bookcases, I've discovered interesting things about my journey as a writer. Years ago, I was hungry. I read everything there was to know about being a writer and took a great number of online courses to better educate myself on the in's and out's of writing. You see, I've always believed there was a formula for success. All one had to do was discover the basis for that formula, act upon it, and then... voila!
Mark Sullivan's quote offers truth to my theory, with a twist. The formula isn't how to, it's why.
Why do writers write? Is it the instant gratification? No. Illusions of grandeur? No. Writers write because they have to. Characters and stories refuse to be silenced. They clammor to be written and fleshed out onto the page. Fully formed images ride a writer's psyche until the writer is broken like a bucking Bronco, sits in front of a computer or a pad of paper, and attempts to do the work needed to bring them to life. It's easy to understand why some writers have become tortured souls. Hemmingway and Edgar Allan Poe anyone?
Being a writer also means embracing solitude. For introverts, that's easy. For others, those wonderful extroverts, not so much. The job is a lonely one, often only visited upon by invisible friends and interrupted by unwelcome telemarketer phone calls. The quest for perfection is an endless task. But oh! how real and tangible those friends can be when the writing flows and the story reveals itself!
As my office evolves into a place I can go to for quiet reflection and communing with the muse, I'm not only seeing a more organized space, I'm privy to the growth I've made as a writer. Many successful writers say that to be a good writer, you must write a million words. A million words! Sounds like a lot of hard work, doesn't it?
Sullivan says, hard work is not hard work at all when you love what you're doing.
Do you love what you're doing? What career path have you chosen? And has the hard work been worth it?